Dayton Dynamo FC put it all on the line against Erie Commodores FC in their last regular season match of the 2017 NPSL regular season. It was the club’s final opportunity to solidify a playoff spot and preserve an undefeated home season. A pair of second-half goals by Tristan Lyle pushed the Dynamo to a 2-1 win in a wild contest.
Malcolm Shaw got the scoring started early for the visitors. Dynamo defender Peyton Mowery’s late tackle on Leonardo da Silva resulted in a try from the mark. Shaw stepped up and calmly converted to give the Commodores a lead in the fifth minute.
With so much at stake, the intensity escalated as the clock ticked toward the end of the first half. By the end of the first half, seven cautions had been issued and two players were sent off. Dayton’s Austin Kinley saw a second yellow for tripping in the 38th minute. The man advantage for Erie was short-lived. Guillermo Lazcano was issued a straight red for a two-footed tackle in the 45th.
Dayton’s equalizer came two minutes into the second half. Dynamo midfielder Tate Robertson carried into the corner of the Erie box and served to Tristan Lyle at far post. Lyle lifted his foot and tapped it into the net.
With both sides reduced to ten men, play was a little more open over the final 43 minutes. Both sides were able to create chances, but neither goalkeeper was forced to make many saves.
The game-winner came off Lyle’s foot in the 79th minute. He settled the ball at the right corner of the box and chipped the ball toward the far post. Erie goalkeeper Chris Ralph, who entered the match in the second half, watched it float over his head and into the goal.
The victory, Dayton’s sixth of the year, punctuated an amazing turnaround season in the NPSL. The Dynamo finished at the bottom of the conference standings in 2016, but now wait to see if their 21 points will be enough to claim a spot in the national playoffs.